You like me! You really, really like me!

March 21st, 2007 → 3:52 pm @ // No Comments

The good folks at Baseball Think Factory have started a thread about my thoughts on the Times “Keeping Score” piece and (author Dan Rosenhack’s thoughts on my thoughts). I think it’s fair to say I come out holding the shit end of the stick. (To wit: I’m a “Boston sportswriter…in the bad way,” I have a “particular blind spot with regard to Ortiz,” I’m a “front office mouthpiece,” my analysis is “simple-minded, fan-boy tripe” (that’s actually in reference to something on Joe Posnanski’s site), I’m “unwilling to entertain reasonable analysis,” my post was a “crap” “hatchet job,” and my follow-up posts don’t “help my argument” or “make me look very good.”)

On the positive side of the ledger, I’ve been elevated to Gammons’s echelon — which truly is an honor — and as far as supposed Sox mouthpieces go, I’m apparently the “updated, cooler, albeit non-rock star, version, since he writes for Slate and Salon, and, according to Posnanski ‘wears black and swears a lot.'”

Awesome. (Er, I mean, fucking awesome.)

Anyway. In the interests of fairness, or impartiality, or something, I wanted to put this out there. It seems as if both sides of this, um, discussion, have stopped listening to the other, and rather then get into a point-by-point refutation of various and sundry quibbles and counter-quibbles, I’ll respectfully bow out at this point…although, trust me, it’s hard to resist on some counts.* And, in all sincerity, I’m glad there’s apparently a goodly amount of interest in what I have to say. It’s always gratifying to know you have a passionate audience. Even if they passionately hate you.

So. This really will be my last post on the topic; I’m sure some of my two-dozen readers are getting bored, and, since this isn’t my job**, I really should get back to work…

*Ok, make that impossible. One of the BTF posters says, “I’ve spoken directly with a guy at Stats Inc, and he claimed that they had guys double checking all the field reports on video. So unless he was lying, I don’t think Seth has all the info….despite his claim to have ‘spent a fair amount of time speaking with those Stats Inc. observers.'” I’ll avoid being snarky and instead just say that that double checking is exactly what I was referring to when I said that “one crucial part of the equation that I left out of my post — probably stupidly — is that the hired-gun defensive scorers are actually fined (or docked pay) when their assessments vary too much from other assessments.” That’s why their reports are double checked.

** But writing Feeding the Monster was, at one point, anyway, my job, and even though I will never see a penny in royalties (that, sadly, really is true), I still want you to read it. It’s good! (Don’t take my word for it; read some excerpts and decide for yourself. Or just check out some of the reviews. Those of you who think I’m a talentless hack should get it too; that way you’ll have more ammo to help hone your disgust to a diamond-fine point.) Anyway, it’s available from Amazon for only $17.16 (cheap!) and, as always, free, signed, personalized bookplates are still available. (Virtual) operates are standing by!

Post Categories: Baseball Think Factory & Dan Rosenheck & Interweb spats & Joe Posnanski & Manny Ramirez & New York Times & Oblique references to Sally Field's Oscar Acceptance Sp

2 Comments → “You like me! You really, really like me!”

  1. maineiac

    17 years ago

    I know we have now lost site of the the original Times story, but Manny’s defense at Fenway is not all that bad (with the exception of Game 1 of the World Series). Cripes he had 17 outfield assists in 2005. I think he was close to the league leader for left fielders. In 2005, Hideki Matsui with his rocket arm only had 7. I think there is a lot of truth to the suggestion that people run on him because his defense is perceived to be “spotty”. In left field, you pretty much have to label each assist a “SAVED RUN”.

    Suzuki is considered one of the best outfielders and his best year for assists is 12.

    I am not saying that Manny is a great outfielder, but he knows how to play left field at Fenway. He doesn’t have a super strong arm but he has a very quick release. He doesn’t have speed but he has comittment (he doesn’t let indescision hamper his speed). He fits Fenway’s left field fine. A better outfielder would only marginally be an improvement at Fenway.

    All that being said. His offense is the BOMB!



    17 years ago

    I shudder to say this in Seth’s presence, but the junk spewed forth by BTF is enough to make you think that Murray Chass may have something resembling a point about the value of the new wave of statistical analysis. I remember last year the big statistical issue was the inability to document David Ortiz’s credentials as a clutch hitter. People, when common sense is at odds with your data, either find a better methodology or find something better to do with your time.

    No royalties, Seth? I’m surprised, but since I do the tax return of someone who wrote a first-rate book about the music industry and makes peanuts off it, I’m not shocked. It’s a very unjust world.


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